Early Intervention for Infants & Toddlers
What is Assistive Technology for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs?
Assistive Technology for infants and toddlers with special needs is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]).
Who is eligible for services and equipment?
Early intervention services for children ages birth through age 2 are provided through Part C of the IDEA. The local education agency is responsible for providing services to children with solely low- incidence disabilities (visual, hearing, or severe orthopedic impairments or any combination of these). Regional centers are responsible for children birth through age 2 who are regional center clients or who are at risk of becoming developmentally disabled (this can include children who are also eligible for special education). Part C services provided by regional centers include special education services and are governed by the same protections and rules as the IDEA, not the Lanterman Act.
How do I apply?
The process of obtaining Assistive Technology devices and services is the same whether the child receives services through the local education agency or the regional center. Assistive Technology must be included on the childþs Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). Once the child is referred to the appropriate agency, that agency:
- Appoints a service coordinator.
- Completes an evaluation and assessments.
- Conducts an IFSP meeting within 45 days.
To request Assistive Technology when you already have an IFSP:
- Request should be made to the service coordinator asking for the Assistive Technology that the child needs, or stating the childþs need if you donþt know exactly what is needed.
- Once your request is made, a goal should be written on the IFSP, including a plan of implementation to achieve the goal, and how the goal will be evaluated.
What services and equipment are offered if I become a consumer?
- Services and equipment can include:
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of Assistive Technology devices.
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing Assistive Technology devices.
- Coordinating other therapies, interventions, and services with Assistive Technology devices.
- Training or technical assistance for a child with disabilities or the family of a child with disabilities.
- Training or technical assistance for professionals who are involved with the child with disabilities.
Here are some examples of Assistive Technology that has been provided to infants and toddlers with disabilities:
- Auditory training equipment
- Computer equipment, including software and access devices
- Communication systems
- Switches and switch-adapted toys
What are my rights for appeal?
Disagreements should be discussed by the family and the service coordinator. Additional members of the IFSP team may be included. If there is a disagreement over the provision of early intervention services with either the regional center or the local education agency, a family may files for a due process hearing by writing to:
Office of Administrative Hearings
501 J Street, Suite 230
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-4926
The Ability Tools is dedicated to protecting the rights of our consumers and allowing them to remain independent in the community. If you have a question, concern, or a story to share with us then please don't hesitate to contact us.